You are here

Plans unveiled for tech-driven project in Toronto


SIDEWALK Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent-company Alphabet Inc, on Monday officially unveiled its plan for a massive technology-driven neighbourhood on Toronto's waterfront that it hopes will become a blueprint for the future, but which has already generated controversy.

The 1,500-page master plan covers a 4.8-hectare parcel on the eastern shore of the city's harbour. The Lake Ontario site would merge sustainable design with new technologies, such as trash-picking robots, sensors that measure pedestrians' gait, sidewalks that melt snow and street-side parking that can be pre-booked.

But, in an era of global concern over data protection at tech firms, the proposal has been criticised for concerns over loss of privacy, and the handing over of control of public spaces to a private corporation.

The city, Ontario and federal governments, which have partnered with the New York-based urban planning firm on the project, would have to approve the proposal. If the C$3.9 billion (S$4.0 billion) development goes ahead, tens of thousands of people are expected to live and work in the district, where tall buildings would be made out of timber. Sidewalk Labs said it could be expanded to cover more than 77 hectares.

Your feedback is important to us

Tell us what you think. Email us at

Public consultations will be held over the coming months. AFP

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to